That First Holiday Season After Separation or Divorce
Is this it? Is this the first time since the birth of your babies that you will be forced to spend at least part of the Holiday without your children because of separation or divorce? It’s no fun. But it does get easier after the first year. I remember mine. I sat in front of the Christmas tree by myself and bawled my eyes out. Not exactly my finest moment. Had I to do it over again, it would be very different. Let me help you with a few tips.
Post-divorce holiday tips from a divorcé, who’s been there.
Accept that life is different now and will never be the same again and IT’S OK!! Embrace change!
Don’t wait until the last minute to coordinate the schedule with your Ex. And remember that the kids want to spend time with BOTH parents.
Christmas Does Not Have to be Dec 25th
If you won’t be with your kids on the 25th, simply plan a “Special Christmas” when you will be. There is no reason to give up anything, just rearrange.
Don’t Spend it Alone!!!
If this is your first Christmas without the kids, reach out to friends and family. Invite yourself if you have to!
New Traditions are a Great Thing!
To help both you and the kids embrace the new reality, start some brand new traditions that you’ve never had!
Is this your first holiday as a single person?
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. If this is your first Holiday as a single person it is normal to have some emotional ups and downs, you are still in the grieving process. Do your best to think about your new future and try not to dwell on the past. Think of new possibilities. What are the activities that you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time? Now’s the time to make it happen! Take an art class! Schedule a weekend trip out of town with a girlfriend or a spa day all by yourself. Of course, I’m a financial advisor so keep the festivities within your budget.
Speaking of budgets, don’t let yourself fall into the “best parent” trap and try to outspend your ex on presents. The kids see right through it and trust me, they don’t care. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll love all the gifts – for about 2 seconds. I remember buying my son a really expensive software program that I thought he’d love and that darn thing just sat unopened for years. Kids need your time not your money. Pass on the iPad and buy a board game that will force you to interact with each other for an extended period. These are the memories that all of you will treasure.
Good luck this Holiday season. Remember, it doesn’t have to be defined as the end unless you choose to. Choose to see the beauty of a new beginning. You can do it!